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When reviewing a question in the close review queue, it is not obvious what happened after the first close vote or flag that was starting the closing process.

Is there a way to find the time of this event?

With that time known, one could look at the time of edits and comments to find out what is newer, but I do not think that is enough.
I think this information is so useful that it makes sense to indicate the new part by using a highlighting background color.

One could argue that the post should be judged as it exists now, independent of the history.
While that's true on the philosophical level, I disagree on the practical level:

For example, when knowing what's new, it can be very easy to tell whether there is a remote chance that much has changed.
As a contrived example, think of a post flagged for closing because it was a rant in some way. If I see that the updates after flagging it where mainly rude comments of the OP, I do not start too think about whether the additions could still have improved the post so much that I do not want to vote for close.

Or, less contrived, think of a post where I see that the new comments obviously show that the OP learned and understood what was wrong an caused the flag. That alone is almost a reason to not vote for closing.

One drawback of not seeing what's new is that one needs to be overly cautious with agreeing to close when it's not obvious what the original problem was. Which is often the case. It may be not obvious because the reason is no longer there, as result of an edit, or of sorting it out in comments.


I think the same applies to other reviews too, but the close queue is certainly a good example.

Is there some feature that could help that I'm missing?

Would it make sense to implement some degree of support for this? Maybe highlighting new posts, or the boundary between old and new, while not doing anything about edits, or mark the boundary in the list of edits only?

  • One drawback of not seeing what's new is that one needs to be overly cautious with agreeing to close when it's not obvious what the original problem was. Which is often the case. It may be not obvious because the reason is no longer there, as result of an edit, or of sorting it out in comments. (Edited this into the question) – Volker Siegel Oct 26 '14 at 8:31
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As far as I know, this is not possible.

I understand why you're asking this, and I almost wanted to upvote this feature request, however, after some considering I don't think it's a good idea.

If you would show the changes to clearly, I'm afraid the reviewers will review mostly the changes instead of the post itself. People will have reasons not to close a post judging from the comments for example, like 'the OP learned from it, he will edit himself so that it doesn't have to be closed'. However, that's not a good reason. I really think posts in the review queue should be considered as-is. It can always be reopened if it's changed later.

What could be good however, is a timestamp for the first flag, that if you really don't understand why the post was flagged, you can check it out.

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    A very interesting point, and I see no obvious way around it. And yes, having the timestamp would solve part of the problem. – Volker Siegel Oct 26 '14 at 8:04

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